Editor’s Note: Republicans seem to have forgotten how little they cooperated with the Democrats during the Obama Administration. This is just a little reminder that expecting Democrats to now cooperate with Trump and his deplorable Congress in the destruction of the country is a breath-taking combination of hypocrisy and chutzpah.

Maybe It’s Just Karma

“Trump has taken the ‘fun’ out of ‘dysfunction.’”
— Charlie Dent (R-PA)

Forced to justify their president’s increasingly unbalanced behavior, supporters consistently blame Democrats and the media. The Right considers opposition to Trump some sort of liberal apoplexy, because somehow they’ve managed to convince themselves that they behaved admirably during the Obama administration.

The demand that the Left render unto Trump the respect and support the Right showed his predecessor demonstrates a sense of humor, if not irony. In the Obama years, we were treated to slander (including the rabid birtherism that kicked off Trump’s political career) and nonstop obstructionism, leavened by racism, both tacit and overt.

At first, I favored a wait-and-see approach, but Trump’s relentless dishonesty and hard-right agenda has convinced me that patriotism now demands obstructionism. Almost nothing he’s doing will be good for the country. We have chaos domestically; overseas, we’re disparaged by those who should be our major allies (the Western Europeans) and admired by despots (e.g., Putin and the Saudis).

The country I love is being ruined by the confluence of three powerful forces: the Republican party, Christian fundamentalism and conservatism. Worse still, this unholy trinity is being subsumed by Trumpism, as his base slavishly clings to his wingnut brand, and Republicans devolve into Deplorables.

Historically, the GOP has had one primary raison d’etre — waging class warfare on behalf of the rich by channeling wealth to the wealthy. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors. However, they can’t get elected merely by servicing the top 10%, so they’ve courted other voting blocs as well, particularly evangelicals. With an (R) after his name, Trump’s now a hero to the one-issue voters who’d back Bashar al-Assad if he vowed to overturn Roe v. Wade or lead the counterattack against the mythical “War on Christmas.”

Now an icon on the Religious Right, Trump backs defunding Planned Parenthood, which he’d praised during the campaign. And he’s hired Jay Sekulow, from Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), as his lawyer and spokesman. The ACLJ has worked for years to tear down the wall of separation between church and state, including bullying local school boards into replacing science (biology and physics) with creationism, and championing the rights of homophobes and other religious bigots.

This sort of thing endears a thrice-married adulterer and casino owner to Christian conservatives, just as rejecting science warms the hearts of fundamentalists and Republicans alike. Trump denies climate change, rejects the mission of the EPA and has chosen the ex-CEO of world-class polluter Exxon Mobil to be his secretary of state.

During the campaign, Trump’s faux populism caused some on the Right to worry he isn’t a true conservative, but, since the inauguration, everything he’s advocated is strictly right-wing orthodoxy. His interest in income inequality and those in the working class who don’t work in a coal mine has evaporated with his “drain the swamp” pledge, as billionaires, Wall Street types and his own family govern The Donald’s “banana republic.” As one Facebook meme put it: “Electing a billionaire to hire other billionaires to fix the rigged system that made them billionaires takes a special kind of stupid.”

It’s always been hard to define conservatism. They claim to love less-intrusive, smaller government and fiscal restraint, except, of course, as the Reagan/Bush/Trump years have shown, during GOP administrations. Trump wants a bigger military and a police state, and our $20 trillion deficit is projected to swell to $30 trillion if he serves two terms.

Conservatives also pretend to revere the Constitution, but not if it gives Democrats the right to name Supreme Court judges. Otherwise, Merrick Garland, not Neil Gorsuch, would be in Antonin Scalia’s seat. And conservatives have hated that pesky First Amendment, with its freedom of the press, ever since it caused the honorable Richard Nixon to resign in disgrace. Trump considers a free press “the enemy of the American people” and any news he doesn’t like “fake news.” According to an “Economist” poll, 45% of Republicans now favor shutting down “biased” media outlets.

What conservatives truly value is the past — the 1950s (or, perhaps, the 1850s). In those halcyon days, women accepted the right of rich and powerful men to grab their crotches, no one was forced to waste an extra two seconds pressing a button for English-only transactions at the ATM, and the only people who cared about clean air and water were effeminate tree-huggers. Black people knew their place — which wasn’t the voting booth or the White House — as did gays, whose place was the closet.

The new Deplorables are happy to sacrifice minority voting rights to witch hunts aimed at imaginary voter fraud. Racism doesn’t matter — the real problem is reverse racism, because our persecuted minority is rich white people. Paul Ryan may have called Trump’s smearing of a judge with Mexican ancestry, “textbook racism,” but he’s never stopped supporting him, because they share a common agenda.

Ever since Obama’s election, the Right has whined that “they’re taking away my country,” and Trump seems obsessed with the former president. Perhaps it’s because a cool, classy, self-made and articulate leader is offensive to a crude, hysterical vulgarian who daily demonstrates that not even a mountain of inherited wealth can give you class.

Given his performance, and that of his deplorable sycophants in Congress, we need to be obsessed with the president. If that requires obstructionist liberal apoplexy, then so be it.

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